If we thought January was a bumper month for new gTLD registrations, then February was off the scale. The total new gTLDs registered grew by over three million in February, nearly five times as many as in January (3,093,728 v 668,405) making it the biggest month for registrations since the programme began. The vast majority of that phenomenal growth has come from China, with dotTop, dotWin and dotWang notching up impressive numbers, whilst dotRed went through a huge growth spurt around promotions for the Chinese New Year.
The top ten most registered gTLDs is still headed by dotXYZ (2.58m registrations by end of February) who added around 700,000 new names to their zone, almost ten times as many as they did in January. Second placed dotTop added around 600,000 of its own, with around 400,000 names registered between the 14th and 16th February. These gTLDs are still the fastest growing week on week:-
1st – Wang – 60,260 per week
2nd – Kim – 7,541 per week
3rd – Ren – 6,856 per week
4th – Top – 5,118 per week
5th – Lol – 4,415 per week
Interesting only dotTop appeared in the five fastest growing TLDs last month, potentially underlining that some of the most registered TLDs may be suffering the same issue as we saw in dotCom that drove the momentum initially in the launch of the new gTLDs.
ICANN’s contracting team had an easy month with no new gTLD agreements being signed, meaning there are still just over 90 contracts to be signed. Seven new gTLDs were delegated including dotStore and dotPassagens (tickets) as well as the dotBrands for Wolters Kluwer, Telecity and the Indian Bank HDFC.
Four gTLDs passed through Sunrise into General Availability during the month. The most successful was Aruba’s dotCloud that saw over 12,000 registrations in their first 24 hours of general availability. Also available for the first time was dotPet, dotKRD and dotKyoto. Afilias’s dotBet along with Dominion’s dotBoats and dotYachts moved from Sunrise to Landrush, with General Availability kicking in in early March. In terms of Sunrises, dotMom led the way with three Chinese IDNs also launching on a First-Come, First-Serve basis.
In terms of the most popular gTLDs there has been little change in the top ten websites as ranked by Alexa with a mix of click sites, directories and pornographic websites although the latest “most popular” website is www.0109.pics which appears to be a click marketing website. Interestingly there are five other similar websites under the dotPics TLD in the top 20 new gTLD websites. In the Top 500 sites there is no surprise to see the low-cost TLDs XYZ (204 sites – up from 87 last month) and Club (62) being the most popular. Some of the intentions behind the high registrations numbers in dotTop and dotWin are seen at the real lack of websites for those two TLDs in the top million websites with just eight apiece.
The few dotBrands that have launched have consolidated their position within the Alexa top one million with home.barclays and mabanque.bnpparibas leading the way both for the financial sector but also for dotBrands everywhere. With the launch of www.nic.fox we’d expect to see some good numbers from them in the near future.